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Image: Jenna Biggs

BEST PLACE FOR A DATE

Fruition

1037 NW 23rd Ave •• 503-219-8600
A friend’s Milanese grandfather used to put red wine in his coffee; the sybaritic pairing struck just the right mix of stimulation and euphoria, apparently, and offers a fine argument for taking a date to Fruition, where a variety of wines are available, in addition to coffee drinks. Don’t like your date? Say goodbye after the first espresso. Crushed out? Shift from lattes to a glass of pinot noir; addled by caffeine and alcohol, let the paintings of dancing women and the mellow music carry the mood, while you work up the nerve to steal that first kiss. —Eric Gold

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE WATCH

The Fresh Pot

4001 N Mississippi Ave •• 503-284-8928
What makes this N Mississippi Ave hub a great place to gaze away the day is not so much the tattooed creative types clustered at its tables as the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an aquarium-esque view of the hubbub on the street. On one recent visit, three-wheeled baby strollers shared the sidewalk with hooded tweens and boutique shopaholics, while an unwashed guitarist sang a personal anthem seemingly invented on the spot. Pair this wonderful weirdness with Stumptown coffee and baristas who pack a mean espresso, and amateur sociologists (and who isn’t one?) with an afternoon to spare will find that it’s worth driving north to have a look. —EG

BEST DRIVE-THRU

Floyd’s Coffee Shop

1502 SE Morrison •• 503-230-2154
Even if your daily destination is a dead-end job in a taupe-hued cubicle, the sunny yellow exterior of Floyd’s provides a cheery jolt well in advance of the caffeine kicking in. Drive-thru customers accustomed to the crackly voices of unseen baristas yelling, “elo m i tek yr rdr” will instead encounter an old-fashioned ding-ding here. That’s the signal for a (usually) pleasant barista to appear, deus espresso machina, in the sliding window above a lighted display case brimming with scones and generously glazed doughnuts. In downpours, a well-placed awning protects patrons’ sleeves during the all-important reach. It’s the perfect place to get your morning running without having to restart your engine. —JD